RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) – The remains of the two U.S. Air Force officers killed in a plane crash last Monday in Afghanistan returned to the United States Thursday night, arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.
One of the two was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City. 30-year old Captain Ryan Phaneuf of Vermont was assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron at Ellsworth.
Phaneuf died along with 46-year old Lt Colonel Paul Voss of Guam, part of the Air Combat Command headquarters at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia, in the crash of their Bombardier E-11A electronic surveillance plane.
The Air Force has not released the cause of the crash, which remains under investigation, but officials have said there is no indication the plane was downed by hostile action.
The E-11A is the military variant of the civil Bombardier BD-700 Global Express and is used as overhead communications-relay platform in southwest Asia.
It’s equipment allows different battlefield communications systems to share data, leading to a description of it being “like Wi-Fi in the sky.”